Headroom Little: Why so little interest?
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andrzejpw

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I'd like to ask a sort of interesting question: why does it seem that the headroom little always gets the short end of the stick? For the base price($259, iirc), you get a really great amp. The highs are smooth, the bass is punchy and very involving, and though it may not be the most neutral amp, it sure as heck beats the pants off a cmoy. Headroom's crossfeed is also included in the package. Secondly, the upgrade path of the amp is incredible. If you get the Little w/ Premium Module, its at the level of the cosmic(according to Tyll). If you get both the module and the upgraded PSU, headroom's website says you're within throwing distance of a Max(though this seems a bit hard to believe: has any substantiated this?)

I had the Little on loan from Headroom for about a month in June. Quite a step up from my amp then, a cmoy. When I first plugged it in, I was really struck by its incredible bass for the price. Anyway, I do see that the meta has taken away some of the little's buyers. But even from headwize's time, its seems as if this amp has gotten very little respect. Does no one like its sound? Does the upgrade path interest no one? Anyone want to chime in here?
 
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joelongwood

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Maybe it's the name................................seriously.
 
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TravelLite

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IMO, the new Little is a terrific amp for low-Z headphones. A very distinguished performance for the money, even without any upgrades.

I tend to think of the Little in terms of direct commercial competition to the Creek OBH-11 and OBH-11SE. The Creek amps do have a huge marketing advantage though, since they're sold and supported through a world-wide dealer network.

TravelLite
 
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kelly

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The RA-1 has an upgrade path too. First you buy the amp, then later a battery and finally a $1400 interconnect.

And then you have the Creek OBH-11. And its upgrade power supply which makes it almost as good as a bag of crap.

The Little More Power Superior Deluxe With Fries or whatever may be a decent amp when you get all the upgrades in place, but I really would question whether that's a good value or not. If you want the HeadRoom sound I'd skip it and go for a MOH or Cosmic.

Else with less capitol, I'd look into a Corda HA-1 or one of the DIYFSE things. Or I'd take a chance on an MG Head from whoever is still selling them.

Just a matter of telative cost/performance value.
 
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wasifazim

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Quote:

Originally posted by TravelLite
IMO, the new Little is a terrific amp for low-Z headphones. A very distinguished performance for the money, even without any upgrades.

I tend to think of the Little in terms of direct commercial competition to the Creek OBH-11 and OBH-11SE. The Creek amps do have a huge marketing advantage though, since they're sold and supported through a world-wide dealer network.

TravelLite


Slightly off-topic here, but you've got an XE370 hooked up to an RKV?? I think a serious source upgrade is in order


- Wasif.
 
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andrzejpw

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Ah jeez, Creek, imho == crap. Little, imho == decent sound. Sure, its not an all out Meta. But its a great amp for the money, and light years ahead of an airhead.

The thing is, a maxed out little approaches max territory for what, half the price? Why aren't these selling light hot cakes(I can't believe I said that)?
 
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elrod-tom

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I had a little for awhile...I liked it. I would have no qualms about recommending it to anyone who is just starting out.

Can't speak for the upgrade path, but it seems like a decent selling point.

 
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TravelLite

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Quote:

Originally posted by wasifazim
Slightly off-topic here, but you've got an XE370 hooked up to an RKV?? I think a serious source upgrade is in order


LOL wasifazim, truth be told you pretty much read my mind. The only problem is, ATM I'm paralyzed with indecision.

IMO, selecting sources can be harder than selecting other components. Too many attractive choices and more becoming available all the time! :)

TravelLite
 
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kelly

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I dunno - seriously, for me personally, I didn't think much of the Little and think by the time you pay for the upgrades, you're dangerously close to the cost of a Cosmic or a MOH.

To me, HeadRoom's strengths are the Cosmic, MOH and Max. I think they should rethink their lower models.
 
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I've had the newest version of the Little for almost a year now. I think it's a very good amp for the price. It does work well with lower impedance headphones such as the Grado SR125 & AKG-K141S(55ohm version) which I have.

But, I don't think I would spend the money for all the upgrades. I would rather have all the upgrades in one amp, like the Maxed Out Home or The Max.
 
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LTUCCI1924

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HI: A Max Out META42 cost less than the little. I had the supreme that cost 450.00 and it cant touch the Max Out META42 in any way. Its just old technology and a big price tag. Now if you care to buy the cosmic for 800.00 then you can compare it with the Max Out META42. I wounder which one is better?
 
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MacDEF

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I haven't been around much lately, but this thread got my attention, because I completely agree with andrzejpw, and I've been recommending the Little for a long, long time for exactly the reasons he listed.

The Little is an excellent amp in its price range. It's as good as the Creek, IMO, and better than the RA-1 for non-Grado cans (again, IMO).

But its big plus, as andrzejpw pointed out, is its upgrade path. Although Kelly might not consider the upgrade path a plus, I consider it a MAJOR plus, and think it makes the Little a vital product in HeadRoom's line (and one of the best buys in headphone amps, if not *the* best buy).

Kelly's view of the Little is based on the fact that he isn't in the target markets for the Little
The target markets for the Little are:

1) People who want a very, very good amp, but can't afford it all at once. These people can buy a Little, later buy an upgraded power supply, later upgrade the electronics module, etc. In the end they'll have an amp that compares with the Maxed Out Home. Is it exactly the same? No, but it's close, and they were able to enjoy their headphones with a good amp from day one, rather than having to wait until they could afford the Maxed Out Home in one payment -- for some people this could be a year or two (or more).

2) People who are just getting into higher-end headphone listening. Many of these people will refuse to believe that spending $800, $1000, or $1500 on a headphone amp is reasonable. Yet they might take a chance on spending $250. So they buy a Little, realize how much better their headphone system sounds, and eventually upgrade it. Maybe even upgrade again. And so on. In the end they have a $1000 amp. But if in the beginning their only choice was a $1000 amp, or if they had to throw away their $250 investment in order to upgrade, they may never have gotten into it.

I think there should be MORE amps like the Little on the market.

P.S. Kelly, you're forgetting that HeadRoom surely makes far more money selling AirHeads and Littles than they do selling Cosmics, MOHs, and Maxes. I doubt Tyll and Co. are going to be "rethinking" their less expensive amps in the ways you might suggest
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by MacDEF
I haven't been around much lately, but this thread got my attention, because I completely agree with andrzejpw, and I've been recommending the Little for a long, long time for exactly the reasons he listed.

The Little is an excellent amp in its price range. It's as good as the Creek, IMO, and better than the RA-1 for non-Grado cans (again, IMO).

But its big plus, as andrzejpw pointed out, is its upgrade path. Although Kelly might not consider the upgrade path a plus, I consider it a MAJOR plus, and think it makes the Little a vital product in HeadRoom's line (and one of the best buys in headphone amps, if not *the* best buy).

Kelly's view of the Little is based on the fact that he isn't in the target markets for the Little
The target markets for the Little are:

1) People who want a very, very good amp, but can't afford it all at once. These people can buy a Little, later buy an upgraded power supply, later upgrade the electronics module, etc. In the end they'll have an amp that compares with the Maxed Out Home. Is it exactly the same? No, but it's close, and they were able to enjoy their headphones with a good amp from day one, rather than having to wait until they could afford the Maxed Out Home in one payment -- for some people this could be a year or two (or more).

2) People who are just getting into higher-end headphone listening. Many of these people will refuse to believe that spending $800, $1000, or $1500 on a headphone amp is reasonable. Yet they might take a chance on spending $250. So they buy a Little, realize how much better their headphone system sounds, and eventually upgrade it. Maybe even upgrade again. And so on. In the end they have a $1000 amp. But if in the beginning their only choice was a $1000 amp, or if they had to throw away their $250 investment in order to upgrade, they may never have gotten into it.

I think there should be MORE amps like the Little on the market.

P.S. Kelly, you're forgetting that HeadRoom surely makes far more money selling AirHeads and Littles than they do selling Cosmics, MOHs, and Maxes. I doubt Tyll and Co. are going to be "rethinking" their less expensive amps in the ways you might suggest


Exactly what I wanted to say about Kelly's remarks, but I was just too lazy.
 
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kelly

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MacDef
That I'm not the target audience for the amp doesn't change the fact that in the same price range I like the Corda HA-1 and DIY amps better.

I understand completely that HeadRoom has a lot of profit on the line in their lower models. This more supports my belief that they should look into improving them.

I don't see any reason why HeadRoom can't stock something at least as good as a basic META42. If you can build one for $100 (and you can, even a good one), there's no reason they can't sell one (or a completely different design that's at least as good) for $300.

Instead, you'd have to buy a Little and upgrade it twice to get it in league with the META42 and the Airhead/Total Airhead can't compete at all.
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by MacDEF
No, but it's close, and they were able to enjoy their headphones with a good amp from day one, rather than having to wait until they could afford the Maxed Out Home in one payment -- for some people this could be a year or two (or more).



(or even more than more, and then just a wee bit more) (or more)

I have gotten the impression over time that the Corda HA-1 is the best value for money, best budget amp.

MacDEF or kelly, can you explain to me what makes the corda a better choice, or, in MacDef's case, the little?
 
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